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line: Recovery-Story after 10 Years of Prescription, 3 Years off

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This is my recovery-story. Today I am 35 Years old. I am German.

 

2001 I was precscripted with Citalopram 20mg for something I would today call a leaving home-starting university-finding my place combined with a shy personality and low self-esteem-situation. In addition, a relative of mine has been diagnosed with "depression", so family was not sure if my feelings were "biological" origin (lack of serotonin). Of course the psychiatrist was sure.

 

I have been on 10-20mg, depending on circumstances (a breakup made me feel very bad, but increasing from 10mg to 20mg made it even worse), always tried to stay on a "low" dosis of 10mg.

 

2005 I experienced trouble within my family and my own life, which ended up in doubling the dose again to 20mg, things got even worse again, so finally I have been send to a psychiatric institution. There I was prescripted to 75mg Venlafaxin. Ambulant treatment afterwards found it necessary to increase up to 300mg. I did not find it helpful.

 

Life stabilised 2006, so I decreased again to 75mg quite fast (not sure how, i believe 300-150-75 in 2-3 month?), 2007 to 37,5mg

 

2008 and 2009 i twice tried to quit, taking 18,75 mg for some weeks, than 0mg. Today I know that neuro-emotions from fast tapering always put be back to drugs.

 

2011 life-circumstances changed, old "problems" with myself re-emerged, I increased dosis and guess what - things got worse again. Again a psychiatric institition was said to be helpful. They found it necessary to treat me with quetiapin additionally (150mg for about 3 weeks, because of side-effecs like restless legs i begged to go back to 100mg).

 

This was the final moment for me to be sure, if I would not quit the system, the system would bring me down. I had to stop to let someone else (and myself) classify my "problems/personality" as a biological mental disorder.

 

As soon as i left the psychiatric institution, i taperd quetiapin in about 8 weeks as i remember (sorry that i am so vague about details, but is is like fade away) with horrible itching (fish-oil helped) and cognitive impairments. Then i immediately tapered Venlafaxin from 75mg to 37,5mg to 18,75mg to 0mg in about 4-6 month (sorry again for no details, i just cannot remember). I had no informations about 10% or anything about low tapering, i just did it not to fast, beacause I was already sure, that that would be no good.

 

After finally quitting in spring 2012, i had a hard time until the end of the year. First of all I remember aggression (not my personality at all), than bursting into tears, very unstable feelings, fatigue, a lot of cognitive problems like lack of concentration and confusion. I did not pay much attention to body-related symptoms, so I cannot tell (if they would have been very severe, I think I would remember them). Thanks god, sleep was always fine.

 

End of 2012 the beginning hormone-chaos of a pregnancy made me very unstable for about three weeks. Than it was ok again and everything I than experienced physically or mental I classified to pregnancy. After pregnancy every physical oder mental unusuallness I classified to breastfeeding.

 

Today I am totally emotionally stable (1,5 years after stpping breastfeeding, 3,25 years after stopping medication). I feel personal development i did not feel under drugs. Self-compassion, empathy towards myself and awareness are essential.

 

I did a lot of researching and I think a lot of my later declines are drug-related or due to fast taper. I got involved in the german withdrawal forum www.adfd.org because there are too many people still suffering from meds or from fast tapering.

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Iamfine

I'm happy for you reaching your goal. And it's good to see another success story!

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Prestorb

Thank you for sharing and congratulations!!!

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Altostrata

Thank you, line. When you had withdrawal symptoms, was there anything in particular that seemed to lessen them?

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JillE

Thank you so much for sharing.  These are the stories I need to read right now.  

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Mort81

Awesome story ,we need to hear more of these.

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pug

Great to hear you are doing well, thank you for sharing.  I hope we have more of these stories posted here.

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line
Hello Altostrada,
 
my withdrawal symptoms were mostly affective.
 
Agression from withdrawal merged into a kind of aggression from pregnany, than merged in a kind of aggression from breastfeeding (I read articles about it, it happens because of hormones). After that, it faded away, no more aggression. Self-Controll helped - 2-3 deep breath to see, situation is not worth it to be aggressiv like that - after my outbursts, of course. But I had to apologise a lot to my husband.
 
Decreased Concentration and confusion got better 6-9 month after 0, I can not tell for sure when this left my everyday life completly. But I still have it, when I am emotionally disturbed (e.g. when there are job-related problems). I can not remember anything special that made it better. I used notes at work for every tiny thing I had to do, that helped a lot not to get lost.
 
I feel memory-problems after 10 years of AD, especially for the time under drug. Hard to explain, but it feels like I really have to think about stuff I want to remember, it does not come to my mind instantly when I try to remember something.
 
Fatigue was better after half a year after 0. I used to go swimming, perhaps that helped. Fatigue than came back again because of pregnancy.
 
Oh, and I sweated a lot in 2012 after 0, next year that was gone, too. I did nothing special.
 
If I rembember more, I will tell.
 
I am so happy I kicked this drugs out of my life.
I feel self-development, which I did not feel under drugs.

I always felt like 20 (time I started with drugs).

 

I did not take any supplements. I used fishoil for some weeks when quitting quetiapin, it helped for the horrible itching. I sometimes think i should have taken it longer, I felt no side-effects and perhaps I would have improved better earlier.

 

line

 
 
 

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RockSie

Hello line,

 

thank you so much for your story!!

You doing a great job!!

Can you remember how long it takes until the waves were gone after 0 mg? And how long it takes until the waves lost their savageness?

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line

Hi RockSie,

 

I am sorry, I cannot tell.

 

I wanted to STOPP medication. That is what I did. I knew nothing about windows and waves when i tapered and stopped taking medication. So I did not pay attention to this and if I think back to 2012, I really can not remember if I had something I would call windows and waves. I remember a LOT of emotional stuff while tapering (starting autumn/winter 2011) and after quitting in spring 2012 and a LOT of cognitive stuff (I always wonder why they did nor fire me off my new job I had). But I had wonderfull holidays in september 2012, so I think half a year later, a lot of things had been better than the months befor.

 

Sometimes it makes my quite nervous, that I can not tell exactly. This memory-problem is one of the serverest things I have.

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joey122

Guten morgen line , ich bin canadianisch aber ich habe ein biscchen in deutscland gelebt. Vielen dank fur deiene geschicte. Ich moechte wissen ob deine problemes mit deine errinerrung sie haben sich verbessert? From what I understand your memory and concentration never recoveredd ?

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line

Hello Joey,

 

it is hard to answer, but i try.

 

My short time memory varies - if i am emotionally stressed, it can happend that i forget stuff immediatly. Others recognizes, that I am confused and that i have lack of concentration. But it is not the case the whole time! It varies, depending on circumstances.

 

My long term memory - in my opinion - could be better, too. But i think it is still getting better.

 

Finally, it is really hard to remember details from summer 2011 (after I doupled Effexor and were prescribed with Quetiapin until 2012, the time i tapered an quit and the time after 0). This time is not a black box, but it is not "complete". I can not tell it more exactly...

 

line

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SquirrellyGirl

Hello, Line

 

I am so happy for you to be free of the drugs!  I was on venlafaxine for 12 years and went off last year, tapered too fast and had a lot of cognitive problems which I only later realized were WD.  What I ran into many months later was a lot of anxiety, horrible insomnia and depression.  I had tried taking serotonergic supplements like SamE, 5-htp, and tryptophan, and only later did I learn that SamE could cause anxiety, so I'm not sure how much of my problems were caused by WD vs improper use of supplements.  Regardless, I was anorexic and couldn't sleep, and out of my desperation my p-doc put me on Remeron to help with the sleep and appetite.  Ultimately, that didn't work as the apathy/depression were too much, so we reinstated the venlafaxine.  It was only after that that I discovered WD and that all my problems likely stemmed from that!  So, now I am tapering two drugs!  GRRRRR!

 

So, did you have any depression and/or anxiety during your WD after you stopped taking Effexor?

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line

Yes I did! I tried to quit two time befor and fear/anxiety/depression made me take it again...

 

When i finally tapered, it did not know about WD either! I wanted to stopp to get pragnent. So my opinion was: ok, i had a crisis in 2011, i still have to recover from it. i want to stop medications so wholeheartedly that whatever comes back from my "old problems" (most of them drug related as I know now), I go through it. I have to learn to live with that, without drugs, whatever it means for my daily life ...

 

I had a horrible year emotionally in 2012. I was near crying a lot of time. I was unstable and little thing made me feel bad. I was nervous, disturbed, confused, depressed, everything. Doing my job was so hard, I was always tired, no concentration, lack of short-term-memory...

 

Sleep was always fine, I think that made it better to go throught it.

 

It is 3,5 years after my last antidepressant. I am fine. I am stable. I have a good life. I do not get depression or anything. I can stop it with caring about myself when seems to start.

 

SquirrelGirl, you can do it. It is not important what time it needs. It is woth it!

 

line

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SquirrellyGirl

Line, thank you for posting your success story!  I am so happy for you, that it is possible!  I look forward to posting my own story some day!

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Hopeinahpwr

Line,

Thank you for posting, you've given me hope!!!

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ChessieCat

Hi line, how are you doing these days?

 

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